Eddie had been staying in Golgonozza during the strike, meeting with various Anwynites, discussing strategy. He was in a meeting with Jon, Ala and June, when Agent Robin Bearshak came into the room, and told them Secretary of Energy Rex Tyler had nearly been killed.
They gathered around the computer to see the news of Rex Tyler’s near crushing death by a falling chandelier. A crane had been needed to hoist off his crushed body. He had sustained severe injuries to his cervical and thoracic spine, and had been in surgery all night.
Ala put her hand on the back of Eddie’s neck, under his collar. He shivered down his back. She spoke softly. “You should go and visit him. They will let you in because you are a doctor. You can try and get him to tell you something to hurt Chester, something to help our cause.”
Eddie stepped back, bristling at the new closeness. The group turned to look at him. “She’s right, Eddie,” Jon intoned. There were murmurs of assent.
“I’m supposed to interrogate a guy who’s post op? He’s probably delirious.”
“Eddie come on,” rang Robin’s bass baritone. “I’ll drive you.”
At the hospital, Eddie and Robin were quickly admitted to Tyler’s recovery room. Robin sat down in one of the chairs next to the door, and Eddie slowly walked in. He sheepishly rustled through the pockets of his borrowed white coat. He had his cellphone on speaker, so Robin could hear and record from the hallway.
Tyler was in traction, each arm spread out in front like a mummy. He was sleeping, but woke as Eddie came near. He became very excited and started jabbering.
“Listen, listen, listen. You remember that show, Regis and Kathy Lee?”
“They got a new lady host, and the name changed to Regis and Kelly Ripa. What happens when you change those names? Regis and Kali, reaper, Regis Kill – kill the king!”
“They were reenacting a primeval regicide. They tried to kill me. They smashed me between my shoulder blades with a giant chandelier. It shattered my cervicothoracic junction. You’re a doctor, I don’t have to dumb it down for you. C345 keep the diaphragm alive. I should’ve died but I didn’t. And for some reason they put me in here.”
Rex stared into space. His face was puffy. His hands were wreathed in casts. His hair was a mess. His eyes were dark sunken cavities. He was a husk of who he had been. Eddie wanted to leave; it made him uncomfortable to be with a seriously traumatized patient without having a therapeutic relationship. But Rex had more to say.
“I have to divulge; I have to vent my spleen. The heart of my bowels must be shared with you so it can rest. I have given birth from my loins. They made me crazy. I wasn’t before. You have to fix me, Doctor, I know you can.”
“It seems like your doctors are doing a good job of taking care of you. You should try and rest and let your body heal.” Eddie shrugged, trying to disappear in the coat.
Rex lisped, his tongue swollen with the sedatives. “You need to understand. My father is alive. They thought they could kill him, but he’s just changed into a different form. He saved my life. Otherwise they would have killed me for sure. You’re a doctor, you know how these things can work!”
“Of course.” Eddie nodded, reaching his hand out, trying to conclude the encounter like he had so many times before, with a handshake prompt, squeezing Rex’s limp swollen hand in traction.
“Get closer,” Rex whispered after Eddie took his hand. Eddie leaned toward him, inhaling the odor of blood and antiseptic. “You have to find my daughter. She’s out there. I don’t know where she is right now, but she’s in danger. Her name is Moxie, she’s twenty four years old, and she’s my kid with Empress Myra.”
“You need to rest, sir. Let your doctors take care of you. I’ll do my best to find your daughter and your dead father and fix you.” Eddie tried not to sound patronizing, but didn’t succeed. He pulled back from Rex and walked to the door.
“Doctor, I’m trusting you. The fate of the empire rests on your shoulders!”
Eddie walked out into the hallway, where Robin was waiting for him. “You got all of that? Anything useful? He sounds delirious as hell.”
Robin nodded. “We got enough.”
Infamous Carson Colt: